it is despicable for a government representative to contact a physician’s office to gather information under false pretenses. This is a sting operation designed to entrap decent, hard working medical office staff into saying things that could be recorded, taken out of context, refined into sound bites, and used to slander physicians. President Obama has already accused physicians of performing tonsillectomies just for the money. He has also stated that surgeons earn $50,000 for an amputation, which is grossly inaccurate. It is not far-fetched to suggest that the true purpose of this "study" was to gather doctor-bashing material to support Obamacare in the 2012 campaign. Their promise not to identify the responses of individual physician practices is of little comfort- in fact this would make it easier for them to "exaggerate" what was said to suit their purpose. It is incredible that Obama thinks nothing of spying on American citizens.(Read the full text of "Why Should Doctors Trust the Government?")
This "study" would have negative effects on health care. Office staff would no longer be able to trust the person on the other end of the phone. Doctors would have to pay an army of consultants to train office staff how to verify a caller’s identity before having any further conversation. Can you imagine the consequences to customer service and quality of care?
Just making the suggestion of this study serves the government’s true purpose- to intimidate physicians into behaving the way the government wants. This is not the first time. The WH has tried to intimidate us into reporting critics of Obamacare (remember "fishy" comments?). The government has bullied doctors for years with threatened pay cuts, an ever-increasing regulatory burden, and audits using outside contractors who are paid by the amount of fines they extract from their victims ("bounty hunters"), with no accountability regarding the accuracy of their audits.
The government wants doctors docile and obedient to its edicts. Yet it also wants them to exercise their independent unwavering judgment in the practice of medicine. This contradiction is unbridgable.